Summa Health denied bid to restart ER residency program

Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health revealed its request to restart its emergency medicine residency program was denied by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Here are four things to know:

1. Cindy Kelley, DO, vice president of medical education at Summa Health, informed staff of the ACGME's decision in a short memo Sept. 18. She said in the memo, obtained by the Akron Beacon Journal, that a full letter detailing the organization's reasons for the denial will be sent within 60 days.

2. The ACGME placed the health system's emergency medicine residency program on probation in February 2017 and stripped it of its national accreditation in July of the same year. The program was initially suspended for several reasons, including an abrupt ER staffing group change that took place Jan. 1, 2017, and residents allegedly seeing patients without supervision. The program's suspension was lifted in October 2017.

3. The program's suspension left 21 residents scrambling to find other programs to enroll in to complete their training, with the majority of residents leaving the Akron area entirely. Cliff Deveny, MD, interim CEO of Summa Health, told the publication the health system has made great strides in improving its emergency departments.

"While we would have liked a different outcome from the residency application process, we remain fully committed to working with our colleagues at [U.S. Acute Care Solutions] to start a new emergency medicine residency program at Summa. To that end, we look forward to receiving additional feedback from the ACGME so we can understand why the decision was made and how to best incorporate that feedback as we move forward," he said.

4. Summa Health submitted a 326-page application to ACGME to restart the residency program in April. However, there is no process to appeal the denial, meaning Summa Health must wait a full year before reapplying. If the process is successful, the earliest the health system could welcome back residents to its emergency medicine program would be July 2020.

To access the full report, click here.

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